Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Burning Water - We can see the sky from here

A Burning Water - We can see the sky from here (2005) Natural Progression Records
Produced by Matt Radosevich
Tracks : 1.Introduction 2.Out in the dark 3.Misslers and markers 4.So much you hide 5.In failed attempts 6.This is a test 7.Retract 8.Instrumental 9.These ruins 10.A passing wish 11.Patience is me
2 out of 5

A quartet based in Santa Cruz, California. A Burning Water was formed in the winter of 2000 where their sound is a blend of indie, post-hardcore and rock. Their music contains intensity, melody, emotion, harmony and energy. "We can see the sky from here" is the band´s debut and a few tunes are really good like "So much you hide" and "A passing wish" while others are too non-melodic like an overdose of screamo punk. This 10 track album also contains 3 instrumental atmospheric pieces - "Introduction", "The instrumental" and "Echoes in the alcove" which all features some cool swirling guitarwork. Talk about up´s and down´s on each and every song, it should´ve been more up´s!

(published at in 2005)

A - Teen Dance Ordinance

A - Teen Dance Ordinance (2005) Warner Music
Produced by Terry Date
Tracks : 1.Rush song 2.Better off with him 3.The art of making sense 4.Someone else 5.Die tonight 6.Second coming 7.Wake up 8.Black hole 9.Hey 10.Worst thing that can happen 11.Afterburner 12.Wisdom
3 out of 5

Oh, how I have been waiting for the British band A´s new album to hit the stores, they started recording it in 2003 and released the single "Good time" the same year but then  nothing happened.....and the year after.....more nothingness. I dont know what the problem was of not releasing this album the first time we heard on their website that it was completed, but I guess the record label didn´t like what they heard so they kicked back the boys in the studio to write and record some more. The song "Good time" is not included on this album, instead we get 12 new adrenaline rockers in the same tradition as the previous record "Hi-Fi serious".
The first two singles taken from their new album are the opener "Rush song" and the second track "Better off with him" - the latter song is the better one with great hooks in the chorus. Soundwise they haven´t changed much from their 2002 hit selling album but the songs just don´t match killer tracks like "Nothing","Starbucks","Six o´clock" and "The distance" from "Hi-Fi serious". I was expecting a lot more from "Teen dance ordinance",still it´s a real good album and will blow away many releases this year.....such a shame though that many of these choruses weren´t as good as I hoped. I love Jason Perry´s voice and he´s a strong reason why you should get a copy of TDO but I don´t think they´re gonna get a big hit single from their new album!

(published at in 2005)

A - Good Time

A - Good Time (2003) Warner Music
Produced by Al Clay
Tracks : 1.Good time
3,5 out of 5

British pioneers of modern rock music, A! are back with their 15th single "Good time". The first one was released in 1997 and this one is not included on their previous album "Hi-Fi serious", many people have been waiting for this one to come out because last year´s success was the big breakthrough for this alternative rock band, I like singer Jason Perry´s voice a lot because he has a personal and original way of singing even if it reminds of Sting quite a lot. "Nothing" was a huge hit from the last album and "Starbucks" was a real upspeeded party kicker, I think "Good time" will have a hard time being the same chartclimber as their previous singles, it´s not a bad song...oh no, I like it this one a lot. Hearing it I believe it will be a great stage rocker but a hit?, I don´t think so, maybe I´m wrong on this one but the chorus doesn´t feel like anything you will hear on the radio!

(published at in 2003)

A - Hi-Fi Serious

A - Hi-Fi Serious (2002) Warner Music
Produced by Ken Andrews / Al Clay
Tracks : 1.Nothing 2.Something´s goin on 3.6 o´clock on a tube stop 4.Going down 5.Took it all away 6.Starbucks 7.The springs 8.Shut yer face 9.Pacific ocean blue 10.The distance 11.Why don´t you cry about it 12.Hi-Fi serious 13.Champions of endings
4 out of 5

Oh, I like this album a lot because of it´s typical English punk/hardrock sound.....mixed up with a bit of The Police (the early days). First when I heard the single "Nothing" I knew this was a band for my taste in music, the song is packed with tons of energy and edgy guitars. The singer Jason Perry sounds like Sting sometimes but a bit rawer and angrier I suppose. This hot band from U.K will visit Sweden on the 15th of May at "Klubben" in Stockholm for all our Swedish friends to know about. I most certainly will try to make it there myself. HiFi Serious is their 3rd studio album and it contains lots of short uptempo rockers that is perfect for all your partys to come. It will end up on my top 20 list when I will summen this music year! The song "Starbucks" is their next single but I can think of more hit singles from this explosive record....."6 O clock" for example, play it loud on your stereo and you will see why! Thank you guys for bringing us good music.

(published at in 2002)

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Festival Thyme

....And you will know us by the trail of dead - Festival Thyme (2008) Richter Scale Records
Produced by Mike McCarthy
Tracks : 1.Bells of creation 2.Inland sea 3.Festival thyme 4.The betrayal of Roger Casement & The Irish brigade
4,5 out of 5

This 4 track EP from the Texas based post rock band And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead is an album teaser with new tracks taken from the forthcoming 6th album "The century of self".
After 3 albums on Interscope, the band now releases this EP and the new album independently on Richter Scale records. I never really bothered to listen to this band in the past but I regret that now since these 4 new songs are so bloody good, the sound is huge and atmospheric and mostly remind of a mix between Smashing Pumpkins, Secret Machines and Rogue Wave. I love the 70´s prog influences as well as a touch of more modern alternative rock, the instrumental "The betrayal of Roger Casement and the Irish brigade" is stunning. I can´t wait to hear the next album because this is one of the best EP´s of 2008, just turn up the volume to the pompous opening track "Bells of creation" - just marvelous!

(published at in 2009)

Crash Kings - Dark of the daylight

Crash Kings - Dark of the daylight (2013) Custard / Universal Motown Records
Produced by Nick Launay
Tracks : 1.Six foot tall 2.Hot fire 3.Dressed to the 9s 4.So many ways 5.All along 6.Lonely war 7.Inside upside down 8.White wolf 9.Hesitate 10.Shameless little monkeys 11.Wave of tomorrow
4 out of 5

Crash Kings self titled debut was one of the best albums of 2009, so you can guess I had high expectations on their follow up "Dark of the daylight". And the songs are really, really good but since the surprise factor from the first album is gone and now I know what to expect, I don´t get as many goosebumps on the new album compared to the smashing debut. However, Crash Kings continue to rock hard without guitars on "Dark of the daylight" which was funded through Kickstarter since their label stopped putting money into this project. Thanks to their fans, the band got $43,000 and are now able to release the album. There are several trio´s that has made great albums without a guitarist such as E.L.P, Keane and U.K so Crash Kings are in good company here. My favorite tracks are "Six foot tall", "Inside upside down" and "Shameless little monkeys" and the music can be described as Ben Folds meets Todd Rundgren´s Utopia with a touch of Josh Fix. Impressive work once again.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Sheds - I´ll be fine

The Sheds - I´ll be fine (2013) Mediaskare Records
Produced by The Sheds
Tracks : 1.I´ll be fine 2.Everything I love 3.The rock and the wring 4.Writer´s block 5.Almost famous 6.Bad things are bad 7.Wrathbone 8.Ignorance is bliss 9.Tunnel vision 10.You´ll be fine
3,5 out of 5

Don´t you think it´s time to bring back rock into the charts, aren´t we all fed up with autotune pop, computerized R&B and DJ´s from hell?! It´s time for a change and real bands with real musicians like Southern California based The Sheds is a good start to hit back with their attitude and energy, the new album "I´ll be fine" is the follow up to the 2012 EP "Self/Doubt" and what we get is 10 explosive tracks of melodic punk rock anthems. The band is really tight and you can tell they´ve been touring very hard the past year, there´s only one way to play this album and it´s loud. Highlights : "Writer´s block", "Ignorance is bliss", "Tunnel vision". Definitely for fans of Bad Religion, The Mongoloids, Sum 41.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pat Travers Band - Can Do

Pat Travers Band - Can Do (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Pat Travers
Tracks : 1.Can do 2.Stand up 3.Diamond girl 4.I´m with you 5.Long time gone 6.Wanted 7.Armed and dangerous 8.Here comes the rain 9.Keep calm and carry on 10.Dust and bones 11.Waiting on the end of time 12.Red neck boogie
2,5 out of 5

You can look at Pat Travers first rocknroll album in ages at two sides, the bright side and the less bright side. First I think it´s really awesome that Pat Travers has recorded his first rock album since the heyday between 1976-1982 with classic albums like Makin´ magic, Heat in the street and Crash and Burn. Just like Gary Moore and Bobby Messano (Starz), he moved on to blues from the 90´s and forward.
But he only made it halfway back on the new album because he couldn´t let the blues rest all the way through these new songs, and his voice has changed too and not for the better. He sounds like Wolfman Jack when he sings but the guitarplaying is brilliant, there are some really great songs with the classic Pat Travers Band sound on "Can do" like "Long time gone", the title track "Can do" and the melodic "Wanted". We also get a nice cover of Eurythmics hit "Here comes the rain" plus the instrumental "Keep calm and carry on" is quite good too. But I´m no fan of the boogie rock of "Dust and bones" and "Red neck boogie", the bluesy "Waiting on the end of time" is taken from his "Dogs and guitars" EP from 2012 and it could´ve stayed there.
"Can do" is uneven with a few shiny moments.
Also for fans of Kim Mitchell, Santers, April Wine.

King Kobra - II

King Kobra - II (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by David Michael-Philips
Tracks : 1.Hell on wheels 2.Knock them dead 3.Have a good time 4.The ballad of Johnny Rod 5.Take me back 6.When the hammer comes down 7.Running wild 8.Got it coming 9.The crunch 10.Deep river 11.Don´t keep me waiting 12.We go round
3 out of 5

In a music quizz, it´s real easy to put any rocker against the wall with the releases of King Kobra. Their self titled album came out in 2011 but their first album "Ready to strike" was released in 1985, their 2nd album "Thrill of a lifetime" came out in 1986 while the album entitled "II" is released in 2013. So all makes sense when the album "III" was released in 1988! Since the new album "II" is their 6th studio album I would take my bets on the next album to be called "7" or perhaps "IV" because this is mark 4 of line up´s. Confusing?
Well, all you need to know is that King Kobra 2011-2013 featuring 4 original members along with lead singer Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot), has done a solid 70´s hard rock album again just as good as their previous self titled album from 2011.
The tracks "Hell on wheels" and "Running wild" bring thoughts to Rough Cutt while "Have a good time" and "Got it coming" goes more in the Bad Company style. The boogie rock of "The ballad of Johnny Rod" should please fans of Van Halen and Mr.Big,
"The crunch" and "Take me back" are two really good southern rock songs. But "When the hammer comes down" is nothing but a filler, however I put on a big smile when I hear the Montrose-like "Knock them dead" which is my fave here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dream on Dreamer - Loveless

Dream on Dreamer - Loveless (2013) UNFD Records
Produced by Callan Orr
Tracks : 1.Loveless 2.The world in front of me 3.Foundations 4.Infinity 5.Hear me out 6.Neverlove 7.Moving on Moving far 8.Evol 9.Black Maine 10.The tracks we leave behind
3,5 out of 5

When you go to the amusement park, you head on over to the heavy and most cool attractions first and then hop on a classic coaster to get the best of both rides. Aussie based Dream on Dreamer´s new album "Loveless" is just like that, it´s like a joyride of metal with progressive elements, clean vocals, screamo and not to forget impeccable metal riffs. Although, they´re from Australia, their lead singer Marcel Gadacz is from Germany and their drummer Aaron Fiocca is from the USA. An international line up with an international sound, hardcore and metal truly works like a hand in glove here. The best tracks are "Infinity", "Moving on Moving far" and the new single "The world in front of me".
For fans of Parkway Drive, Buried in Verona, Asking Alexandria

Monday, June 24, 2013

James Christian - Lay it all on me

James Christian - Lay it all on me (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by James Christian
Tracks : 1.Lay it all on me 2.Sacred heart 3.Day in the sun 4.Believe in me 5.You´re so bad 6.Don´t come near me 7.Let it shine 8.She´s all the rage 9.Sincerely yours 10.Shot in the dark 11.Welcome to your future
3 out of 5

Every 9th year, James Christian releases a solo album, the first one "Rude Awakening" - which is loved by many AOR fans, came out in 1995. It was followed by the mediocre "Meet the man" in 2004 and this year, he deliver his 3rd solo album "Lay it all on me" that sounds more like his first album mixed with some House of Lords flavor. So does that mean, James Christian will release his next solo album in 2022? Oh my god, let´s hope not. Anyway, the new album is really good where the songs will please many fans of AOR and his band House of Lords of course. I would give it more than 3 stars if it weren´t for the bad drum mix. Think the "Demon´s down" production on this album and I´m sure you will be blown away. Songs like the title track and the superb "She´s all the rage" are simply awesome, not to mention the strong closing track "Welcome to your future" that rocks big time. Expect a new solo album from his wife Robin Beck in August that JC has produced too, perhaps the drumsound will sound better on "Underneath" that is the album title?!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Whitesnake - Made in Britain

Whitesnake - Made in Britain / The World Record (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by David Coverdale / Doug Aldrich / Mikey Mac
Tracks : CD1 1.Best years 2.Give me all your love tonight 3.Love ain´t no stranger 4.Is this love 5.Steal your heart away 6.Forevermore 7.Love will set you free 8.My evil ways 9.Fare thee well 10.Ain´t no love in the heart of the city 11.Fool for your loving 12.Here I go again 13.Still of the night
CD 2 1.Bad boys 2.Slide it in 3.Lay down your love 4.Pistols at dawn 5.Snake dance 6.Can you hear the wind blow 7.Fare thee well 8.One of these days 9.The badger 10.Deeper the love 11.Soldier of fortune 12.Burn/Stormbringer
3 out of 5

We´re gonna do a song for ya!
2013 is a massive year for Whitesnake fans with plenty of Whitesnake related releases such as 3 albums with Doug Aldrich´s band Burning Rain, Snakecharmer feat. Micky Moody and Neil Murray plus 2 live albums in "Made in Japan" and now also the double live album "Made in Britain".
The latter was recorded during the U.K dates on their 2011 world tour, the first CD is almost identical with the Made in Japan disc but the 2nd CD is more fun with Deep Purple classics and Whitesnake oldies. Thumbs up for "Deeper the love", "Slide it in", the acapella version of "Soldier of fortune" and a medley of "Burn/Stormbringer".
The guitar duel between Aldrich and Reb Beach was called Six String Showdown on "Made in Japan" but here it´s called "Pistols at dawn", same thing, different name.
This is the last recording with drummer Michael Devin who is now replaced by veteran Tommy Aldridge who´s been in the band a couple of times before, and I must add that I enjoyed "Made in Britain" more than Whitesnake´s "Made in Japan".

Attila - About that life

Attila - About that life (2013) Artery Recordings / Razor and Tie
Produced by Joey Sturgis
Tracks : 1.Middle fingers up 2.Hellraiser 3.Rageaholics 4.Backtalk 5.Leave a message 6.About that life 7.Thug life 8.Break shit 9.Gimmicks and lies 10.Callout 11.Unforgiveable 12.Shots for the boys 13.Party with the devil 14.The new kings
3 out of 5

Atlanta based 5 piece Attila ain´t your average deathmetal band, they leave out lyrics about darkness and blood and instead throw in a load of party factor into their music. Last year they gave us the single "Party with the devil" which I liked a lot and this summer, Attila deliver their 3rd album for Artery / Razor and Tie. That single is included along with a bunch of new party metal songs on "About that life", a record that might seem medium according to my rating but it´s more like a mix of raw and well done. There´s no denying their aggressive and pulsating metal is a perfect match for the festival stages, just listen to tracks like "Thug life", "Hellraiser" or the title track "About that life" that will bring out the sweat in any audience. And it´s not everyday you get to hear rap, growls and hockey choruses on the same album.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I Can See Mountains - Life on a houseboat

I Can See Mountains - Life on a houseboat (2013) Panic Records
Produced by I Can See Mountains
Tracks : 1.One mirror, two bodies 2.Life on a houseboat 3.Sea legs 4.Snake eater 5.She´s my Bobby Orr 6.I play the fox 7.Sweater science 8.Campfire skin 9.Glory 10.One big table 11.The tigers have found me
2,5 out of 5

"Life on a houseboat" is the debut album from Buffalo based I Can See Mountains, the same hometown as Goo Goo Dolls, Cute Is What We Aim For and Gym Class Heroes. This is a record made in Buffalo 2013 but they sound more like London 1977, their indie rock flavored punk rock sound of course bring thoughts to modern bands like The American Scene and Maker but also old school new wave like The Clash and The Jam. This 11 track album is decent from start to finish, I kinda like their singalong choruses but I must say their songs work better in small doses. Thumbs up for the cool songtitles "She´s my Bobby Orr" and "One mirror, two bodies". Favorite song - the title track "Life on a houseboat".

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sound of Contact - Dimensionaut

Sound of Contact - Dimensionaut (2013) Inside Out Music
Produced by Sound of Contact
Tracks : 1.Sound of contact 2.Cosmic distance ladder 3.Pale blue dot 4.I am dimensionaut 5.Not coming down 6.Remote view 7.Beyond illumination 8.Only breathing out 9.Realm of in-organic beings 10.Closer to you 11.Omega point 12.Mobius slip
4 out of 5

May I present to you one of the best progrock albums of 2013, the new band Sound of Contact and their debut album "Dimensionaut". Performed by Simon Collins - Vocals/Drums (son of Phil Collins), Dave Kerzner - Keyboards (Kevin Gilbert´s Giraffe) and Matt Dorsey - Bass/Guitars. I already knew the quality Simon Collins sits on from his awesome solo album "U-Catastrophe" (2009), his father must be proud. And if you played in Kevin Gilbert´s Giraffe like Dave Kerzner did, you´re no amateur so together with stringer man Matt Dorsey they have created a fantastic progrock album that bring thoughts to old school prog bands like Genesis and Yes but also Peter Gabriel solo and modern prog such as Frost and Porcupine Tree. I am truly amazed over these songs, Simon´s vocal performance is reminiscent of Gabriel and I love how the band takes the listener on a musical landscape where you just have to close your eyes and dream away. Listen to "Realm of in-organic beings" and you´ll understand what I mean. Other highlights : "Pale blue dot", "Not coming down" and the 19 minute long "Mobius slip". We have a lift off.............

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Farewell Circuit - We were wolves

The Farewell Circuit - We were wolves (2013) Princess Records
Produced by Brett Bullion / The Farewell Circuit
Tracks : 1.We were wolves 2.Years of youth 3.Faces of friends 4.From the sun 5.Admission
3 out of 5

Minneapolis based The Farewell Circuit are Danny O´Brien - Vocals/Guitars, DJ House - Guitars, Alex Young - Drums and Matt O´Brien - Bass. Their debut EP was released in 2007 which was followed by 2 full length albums in 2009 and 2011 plus 2 more EP´s where "We were wolves" is their latest release. You can definitely say they´re influenced by Death Cab For Cutie and Radiohead but I would like to add a few more bands they remind of such as Mae, Umbrellas and Copeland. We´re talking dreamlike pop here with spacey guitars and beautiful melodies, the title track is a really nice opener but I prefer the 2nd track "Years of youth" and "Faces of friends" a bit more. The music grows for each time I hear it which is a good thing because that only shows The Farewell Circuit makes thoughtful lyrics and songs with depth. Good stuff.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

These Hearts - Yours to take

These Hearts - Yours to take (2013) Victory Records
Produced by Kevin Kumetz
Tracks : 1.This is love 2.The inconvenience 3.Psycho 4.Miserable 5.Been through hell 6.Last man alive 7.Birds of a feather 8.Undecided story 9.War 10.LOTR 11.Never mind me
3 out of 5

I always welcome a crossover in music genres like These Hearts and their cool flirt with pop punk, post hardcore and modern metal, they are slowly building a strong foundation with their 3 previous releases that includes 2 EP´s and the full length "Forever ended yesterday" from 2011. In July, These Hearts will release their 2nd full length "Yours to take" featuring Mattie Montgomery of christian metalcore act For Today on the brutally heavy "War" and Bertrand Poncet of French pop punk band Chunk! No Captain Chunk! on the catchy opener "This is love". Two really good songs but my favorites are "Last man alive" and the infectious "Been through hell" that will put them on the map of promising pop punk bands. For fans of A Skylit Drive, A Day To Remember, Sleeping With Sirens.

Stardog Champion - Exhale

Stardog Champion - Exhale (2013) Independent
Produced by Neal Avron
Tracks : 1.Aphrodite 2.Nothing to lose 3.When we fall 4.House of cards 5.The switch
3,5 out of 5

Singer Nick Coyle, guitarist Aaron Fink and bassist Mark Klepaski could´ve easily have picked their old bandname Lifer instead of Stardog Champion but together with the new drummer Josh Karis (Leroy Justice), they went for Stardog Champion which also is a 1992 collection by Mother Love Bone. You might remember that Lifer made an album in 2001 that was produced by Alex Lifeson (Rush) and then Fink and Klepaski moved on to form Breaking Benjamin with singer Ben Burnley. They played together for 10 years and sold more than 5 million albums before Fink and Klepaski were fired from the band in 2011, now they have reunited with Nick Coyle who was in The Drama Club between 2005-2011. The debut "Exhale" Ep sounds nothing at all like their former bands Lifer or Breaking Benjamin, it´s not as heavy but more mainstream modern rock in the same vein as Ours and Our Lady Peace. The first two songs "Aphrodite" and "Nothing to lose" are in fact the weakest on this EP so it´s not until the single "When we fall" when things start to get really serious, the following "House of cards" and the splendid "The switch" do put a big smile on my face. It´s a new bandname and a new sound so I understand why they don´t sound like Lifer.

Megosh - Megosh

Megosh - Megosh (2013) Revival Recordings
Produced by Megosh
Tracks : 1.Black is the new blonde 2.Fast times at I.C.U 3.Trigger thumb 4.Dance for me 5.When we were children 6.Monsters (acoustic)
4 out of 5

On tour now with Alesana and The Color Morale, the Baltimore based 4 piece Megosh should be creating waves with their intelligent rock. The self titled 6 track EP is filled with progressive and artsy alternative rock that bring thoughts to Fair To Midland, Monty Are I and Fall Out Boy. Songs like "When we were children" and "Fast times at I.C.U" are simply fantastic, what an impressive EP this is where other songs such as the acoustic "Monsters" and the single "Black is the new blonde" are great enough to make any up and coming band full of envy. I can´t wait to hear album no.2!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cloakroom - Infinity

Cloakroom - Infinity (2013) Run For Cover Records
Produced by Cloakroom
Tracks : 1.Sedimentary 2.E 3.Dream journal 4.Bending 5.Mynd funeral
2 out of 5

Once in a while you stumble across an album you just cannot describe in sound, like Indiana based Cloakroom and their debut "Infinity" EP which takes on a more experimental side of stoner metal. Here you will find traces of noise rock and emo with lots of spacey effects, listening to these 5 songs feels like walking in the catacombs of Rome. The music is almost disturbing in some sort of way, the songs aren´t uplifting in any way but there is a certain atmosphere that keeps me hooked during all 5 songs. It ain´t bad but Cloakroom most certainly make demanding music you can´t take lightly. Is this perhaps the soundtrack for Clockwork Orange 2?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Like Thieves - The Wolves at Winter´s Edge

Like Thieves - The Wolves at Winter´s Edge (2013) Independent
Produced by Like Thieves
Tracks : 1.Killing reason 2.Echoes of time 3.The wolves at winter´s edge 4.In my arms till the end 5.Alibi
3,5 out of 5

If you´re into alternative and progressive metal the Aussie way with bands like Karnivool, The Butterfly Effect and Dead Letter Circus, then Like Thieves is the perfect choice for you. This is singer Clint Boge´s new band (The Butterfly Effect) and their debut "The wolves at winter´s edge" EP is really good. I must admit that it takes a few spins to get into the music, they aren´t exactly radio friendly but I love the depth in the music and the unexpected turns and twists. Clint is a great singer and fans of TBE won´t be disappointed when they hear the brilliant opening track "Killing reason". Another fave is the super heavy "The wolves at winter´s edge", awesome riffs here. Highly recommendable.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Infinita Symphonia - Infinita Symphonia

Infinita Symphonia - Infinita Symphonia (2013) Scarlet Records
Produced by Giuseppe Orlando
Tracks : 1.If I could go back 2.The last breath 3.Welcome to my world 4.Drowsiness 5.In your eyes 6.Fly 7.Interlude 8.Waiting for a day of happiness 9.X IV 10.Limbo
4,5 out of 5

Italian progmetallers Infinita Symphonia has taken a more modern approach on their new self titled album, but don´t worry because you will still recognize the classic heavy metal vibes which is an important cornerstone of Infinita Symphonia´s sound.
I almost didn´t dare to listen to the new album because I had way too high expectations since their debut album "A mind´s chronicle" was one of the best albums of 2011. I gave it 5 stars at but after a few spins of their new record, I do think it´s a monster album too but not as great as their first masterpiece.
Even though I don´t really mind growl in metal music, I don´t think it fit in that well in Infinita Symphonia´s progmetal but thank god I only hear it in two tracks.
The Rush influenced "The last breath" is one of the highlights on the new album along with the excellent "Drowsiness", this is top quality progmetal. There´s a guest appearance from Michael Kiske (Helloween) in the powerful "Fly", what a great song it is too. IS close the album with the epic "Limbo", just close your eyes and enjoy some fab harmony changes and pro-musicianship.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Lonely H - The Lonely H

The Lonely H - The Lonely H (2013) Independent
Produced by Dexter Green
Tracks : 1.Try again 2.Runaway 3.Waiting on a broken heart 4.Lights burn out 5.Head in the clouds 6.Love her always 7.When you don´t call me 8.Move on alright 9.Riding the clutch 10.Highway heart
3,5 out of 5

A bit of blues, soul and rocknroll is what you get when you listen to Nashville based The Lonely H´s 4th album, it´s self titled because the band thinks it represents their live show the most. This is the follow up to the 2009 album "Concrete glass" and it features a guest appearance from The Rolling Stones saxophonist Bobby Keys on the Cock Robin-like "Riding the clutch", another song "Lights burn out" even bring thoughts to Keith Richards and Co. But overall, the sound on this album is more reminiscient of 70´s pop/rock a la Wings, Squeeze and Jackson Browne. Songs like the new single "Love her always", the irresistable "Runaway" or my personal favorite "Head in the clouds" are better ambassadors for the entire album. No doubt The Lonely H has done a very warm and honest record, classy stuff indeed.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sister Sin - Dance of the wicked

Sister Sin - Dance of the wicked (2013) Victory Records
Produced by Jan Jan / Sister Sin
Tracks : 1.Kiss the sky 2.Dance of the wicked 3.Fall into my dreams 4.End of the beginning 5.Love lies 6.Dirty damn I 7.Paint it black 8.Tragedy loves company 9.Minor you (major me) 10.Writings on the wall 11.Head over heels 12.Rocknroll feat.Doro Pesch
2 out of 5

The first album from Swedish heavy metal band Sister Sin is being re-released with 4 bonus tracks on Victory Records, "Dance of the wicked" was originally released in 2003 and is hard to get so fans can look forward to this re-reissue with new artwork and 1 DVD with ten music videos. You can tell they have grown a lot as a band since this ten year old album if you compare it to their previous albums "True sound of the underground" (2010) and "Now and forever" (2012). They have developed as songwriters on their latest albums because some of these songs on "Dance of the wicked" can be filed under amateurish garage metal such as "Love lies" and "Tragedy loves company". The title track is good though, plus of course the bonus tracks "Minor you", "Writings on the wall" and "Head over heels" that all are really nice. The best track is the Motorhead cover "Rocknroll" that was released as a single in 2011, it should always be included in their live set.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Into it Over it - Life is suffering

Into it Over it - Life is suffering (2013) Topshelf Records
Produced by Evan Weiss
Tracks : 1.Wearing white 2.Anchor
2 out of 5

Evan Weiss is the one behind Chicago based indie rock band Into it Over it, in 2007 he wrote, recorded and released a new song every week for an entire year. The project was called 52 weeks. In 2009, Evan wrote and recorded 12 songs about his experience in 12 different towns, the collection is called "12 towns". Since then, two more EP´s and 1 album has been released so we´re looking at a creative musician here. His most recent release is the 2 track single "Life is suffering" with two really short songs, "Anchor" gives me the feeling of the north sea and the cold waves hitting the coastline in late October. A decent song performed with just an electric guitar and Evan on vocals. I like the rocking "Wearing white" more but it´s only 1:43 long so it ends before I get into the right mood of this atmospheric sound, it should´ve been at least 3 minutes long. This ain´t bad but it could´ve been better.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dark Moor - Ars Musica

Dark Moor - Ars Musica (2013) Scarlet Records
Produced by Luigi Stefanini
Tracks : 1.Ars Musica 2.First lance of Spain 3.It is my way 4.The road again 5.Together as ever 6.The city of peace 7.Gara and Jonay 8.Living in a nightmare 9.El ultimo ray 10.Saint James way 11.Spanish suite 12.The road again (acoustic) 13.Living in a nightmare (orchestral version)
3 out of 5

The Spanish band Dark Moor celebrates their 20th anniversary with the 9th studio album "Ars Musica", a well performed album of 13 tracks where the production is impressive with bombastic orchestral arrangements. Several songs has strong and memorable hooks like "It is my way", "Together as ever", "Living in a nightmare" and the new single "The road again". We get alternative versions too of "Living in a nightmare" which ends the album as a big orchestral piece and an acoustic version of "The road again" that is quite different compared to the full band version. I´m not normally a huge fan of neoclassical metal but I really like Dark Moor´s dramatic and theatrical sound that can be described as musical metal, imagine Nightwish meets Kamelot with a touch of Phantom of the Opera. It´s a beautiful artwork too.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bree - All American Girl

Bree - All American Girl (2013) Werewolf Tunes
Produced by Justin Cortelyou
Tracks : 1.I´m the boss 2.You can´t take the heart out of me 3.Forbidden fruit 4.Whisky 5.Do you love me 6.All American Girl 7.I hope you´re smiling 8.Dance all nite 9.Nothing but trouble 10.Heart and soul 11.Not today
3,5 out of 5

She´s only 23 and is living in the capital of country music, Nashville. But she rocks in a way that would make Pete Townshend and Keith Richards proud, her name is Bree and on June 18th her debut album "All American Girl" comes out. We´re talking timeless rocknroll here that has no best before date, the music sounds alive and kicking which can only be done from real musicians playing. That´s exactly what you get from Bree and her band, with Bree on a Flying V guitar, Mayrk McNeely on up right bass and David J Castello on drums. Expect no autotune, no samples, well keep the DJ´s of Swedish House Mafia the hell away from Bree´s songs. She´s got the same attitude as Joan Jett, the same 3 chord song approach as The Ramones and the same electric vibes as Marc Bolan.
Highlights - Dance all nite, All American Girl, You can´t take the heart out of me

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Saddest Landscape - Exit wounded

The Saddest Landscape - Exit wounded (2013) Topshelf Records
Produced by Jon Taft
Tracks : 1.Those yet lived 2.Redefining loneliness 3.Heartbroke and fear sick 4.Coffins like ours 5.Breath in a darkened room
2,5 out of 5

U.S based hardcore band The Saddest Landscape have been around since 2002 releasing CD´s, LP´s and singles but it´s in fact the first time I listen to a record with this 4 piece band. I think you could call their music as autumn-like hardcore similar to bands like Refused, Thursday and Gallows. They´re a bit technical and also experimental but in a colorful way, the music is evocative and quite loud but there are moments when you´re able to catch your breath too. It kinda gives me "the end of the world" vibes while listening to songs like "Coffins like ours" and "Heartbroke and fear sick", which is cool. I like bits and pieces of this EP but I can imagine they´re a great live act.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Magnus Karlsson - Free Fall

Magnus Karlsson - Free Fall (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Magnus Karlsson
Tracks : 1.Free fall 2.Higher 3.Heading out 4.Stronger 5.Not my saviour 6.Us against the world 7.Our time has come 8.Ready or not 9.Last tribe 10.Fighting 11.Dreamers and hunters 12.On fire
3 out of 5

Swedish guitarist/songwriter Magnus Karlsson is one of the most hardworking men in the hard rock/metal business, he has collaborated with singers like Tony Harnell in Starbreaker, Russell Allen and Jorn Lande in Allen/Lande, Mark Boals in The Codex, Bob Catley, Michael Kiske as well as a member of Primal Fear since 2008. Now, he releases his first solo album "Free fall" with Daniel Flores (The Murder of My Sweet) on drums. Magnus handles the lead vocals on 3 tracks and he does it good, the music is more melodic than Primal Fear and not as power metal oriented but still very heavy. The most interesting thing about this album is the impressive line up of singers such as Herman Saming (A.C.T), David Readman (Pink Cream 69), Mike Anderson (Star One), Tony Harnell (TNT), Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Russel Allen (Symphony X), Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen), Rick Altzi (Masterplan) and Rickard Bengtsson (Last Tribe).
The album is well produced and the songs might be predictable but they are performed with class, it´s cool that the song his former bandmate Rickard Bengtsson from Last Tribe sings on is called.....well, Last Tribe. The song rocks too. Other highlights are "Stronger" with Tony Harnell, "Fighting" with Herman Saming and "Us against the world" with David Readman.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Liferuiner - Future revisionists

Liferuiner - Future revisionists (2013) InVogue Records
Produced by Liferuiner
Tracks : 1.Vacant 2.Waivered lives 3.Savages 4.Feeling, meaning 5.C.O.P.E 6.Fissure 7.Harvest famine 8.Despair 9.Dreamcatcher 10.Self purgatory
3 out of 5

When you read the combination post hardcore and bandname Liferuiner, you probably think destructive and aggressive music with screamo vocals to max. Well, I would be lying if I should say Toronto based Liferuiner ain´t aggressive with a screamo singer because they´re brutal at times but also very interesting, what we get is a mix of metalcore, punk and hardcore where the best songs are "C.O.P.E", "Dreamcatcher" and "Self purgatory". It´s a dynamic album, rich of nuances and in some moments also with epic songstructures. I can´t compare "Future revisionists" to their previous releases since I haven´t heard them but this is a good start to get acquianted with this energetic band. At least, they´re in good company with InVogue Records artist roster of Famous Last Words, Belle Histoire and That´s Outrageous.

Jorn - Traveller

Jorn - Traveller (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Jorn Lande / Trond Holter
Tracks : 1.Overload 2.Cancer demon 3.Traveller 4.Window maker 5.Make your engine scream 6.Legend man 7.Carry the black 8.Rev on 9.Monsoon 10.The man who was king
3,5 out of 5

It took 3 years for Jorn to follow up the strong "Spirit black" (2009) with the more weak "Bring heavy rock to the land" (2012), if we don´t count the Dio tribute from 2010. This year, Jorn is definitely firing on all cylinders since we already got the amazing "Symphonic" album where Jorn gave life to his music in a symphonic way and now the brand new studio album "Traveller", which is one of his best albums so far. This time he´s got a new line up with Trond Holter on guitar and Bernt Jansen on bass, both from Wig Wam. Plus  long time member Willy Bendiksen on drums and Jimmy Iversen on guitar, and with this line up, the band sound reborn. The riffs from Holter are edgy and fresh and the vocal performance from Jorn is super as always, you will find no fillers on "Traveller" but instead macho rock from a band armed to the teeth with powerful music. "Overload", "Carry the black" and "Monsoon" are my personal favorites for now. Next week you will probably get another answer.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Citizen K - King of second thoughts

Citizen K - King of second thoughts (2013) Paraply Records
Produced by Klas Qvist / Tobias Walka
Tracks : 1.King of second thoughts 2.So this is life 3.Something truly magic
3 out of 5

Klas Qvist aka Citizen K released the very strong "Somewhere up north" album in 2009 and I really loved it, this fall he´s returning with the double album "Second thoughts" and the first taste is the 3 track "King of second thoughts" EP. Citizen K still deliver 70´s soft rock with a touch of Beach Boys-like harmony vocals on these three new tracks but I only think 2 songs hold the same standard as the previous album. The title track and "So this is life" are both really good while the more laid back "Something truly magic" don´t move me at all, the heavy guitars on "So this is life" are right on spot and even if Klas ain´t a perfect lead singer - he is amazing at making beautiful harmonies. For fans of Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Sad Cafe´

KLOGR - Till you turn

KLOGR - Till you turn (2012) Valery Records
Produced by Olly Riva / Dysfunction / Rusty
Tracks : 1.King of unknown 2.Vultures feast 3.Voice of cowardice 4.Guinea pigs 5.Silk and thorns (live) 6.Bleeding (live) 7.Green star (live)
3 out of 5

When I reviewed Italian band KLOGR´s debut "Till you decay" on, I gave it 3 stars and compared them to a mix between Sinisstar, Guns N Roses and Janes Addiction. We´re talking classic hard rock with traces of industrial metal here and their latest "Till you turn" EP continues where the debut left off, the sound is similar to the first album but I think these 4 new songs are a bit stronger though. However, the 3 live versions from their "Ground zero" DVD that closes the EP doesn´t really make me happy. But let´s focus on the positive side of this EP and that´s "King of unknown" and "Vultures feast", both produced by Olly Riva (The Fire) with the help of Italian rock band Timecut and featuring Maki of Lacuna Coil on bass on one track. Confusing? Well, there´s more......track 3 and 4 "Voice of cowardice" and "Guinea pigs" are produced by Dysfunction and mixed by Logan Mader (Machine head) but with the original KLOGR band playing. Now you´ve got it all clear eh?! A solid EP worth checking out where "Voice of cowardice" truly rocks big time.

Blackmore´s Night - Dancer and the moon

Blackmore´s Night - Dancer and the moon (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Blackmore´s Night
Tracks : 1.I think it´s going to rain today 2.Troika 3.The last leaf 4.Lady in black 5.Minstrels in the hall 6.Temple of the king 7.Dancer and the moon 8.Galliard 9.The ashgrove 10.Somewhere over the sea 11.The moon is shining 12.The spinner´s tale 13.Carry on.....Jon
3 out of 5

Although I´m not the biggest fan of Blackmore´s Night and new age music in general, I do think their new album "Dancer and the moon" is the most enjoyable album so far from Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that their 8th studio album contains the Uriah Heep cover "Lady in black", a new version of the Rainbow classic "Temple of the king", an awesome Deep Purple-flavored instrumental for his late friend Jon Lord called "Carry on.....Jon" and not to forget the majestic "The moon is shining" which is the closest Rainbow-like song Ritchie has recorded since "Stranger in us all" in 1996. I also do like their cover of Randy Newman´s "I think it´s going to rain today" because it came as a surprise really, plus I would like to give thumbs up to Ritchie´s acoustic piece "Minstrels in the hall" where he shows that he is still one of the best guitarists on this planet.

Look Alive - Mistakes and milestones

Look Alive - Mistakes and milestones (2013) Autumn and Colour Records
Produced by Jason Andrews
Tracks : 1.Transitions 2.Anchored 3.Sink or swim 4.The way I see it 5.Farewell 6.Inquisition 7.Over under
2 out of 5

Atlanta based Look Alive´s debut "Mistakes and milestones" EP never really lift off, the songs are short and quite fast where some do start promising but before you know it - the song has ended. Opening track "Transitions" is only 50 seconds long and I really wanted to hear the rest of the song, hrm.
Look Alive´s got a more skate punk-esque sound somewhere between Millencolin and Sum 41, you can´t argue about their energy because they´ve got enough to light up a minor city but the songs are rather forgettable except for "Inquisition" that is yummy good. Perhaps next album will be better.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cable Car - Ride

Cable Car - Ride (2013) Independent
Produced by Mike Pappas
Tracks : 1.Two time love 2.Songs that groove 3.You´re killing me 4.It´s you 5.Wait for me
2,5 out of 5

There are a lot of summer vibes over the L.A trio Cable Car´s new "Ride" EP, the band has a really strong singer in Nathan Mott and two really great songs in the infectious "You´re killing me" and the feel-good pop of "It´s you". Too bad the other 3 tracks aren´t in the same league, the folkrock of "Wait for me" is a decent song and it gets my attention for sure but the first two songs "Two time love" and "Songs that groove" will appeal more to fans of Justin Timberlake. Cable Car´s sound can be described as The Script meets Jason Mraz with a touch of boyband Five. They´ve got potential though.

What Now - Move like a sinner

What Now - Move like a sinner (2013) Independent
Produced by What Now
Tracks : 1.Ready to be heard 2.Money maker 3.If looks could kill 4.Move like a sinner 5.Jackson 6.High class 7.Back to blood Pt 1 8.If you want my blood Pt 2 9.Midnight swimmers 10.Wasting away 11.Should´ve said so 12.Animal 13.Lovers and liars
3,5 out of 5

What Now is a trio from South Africa that moved to London, England. The new album "Move like a sinner" is the follow up to the 2011 EP "Take control", this is one helluva catchy album with dance rock oriented songs that sounds like The Killers in an Aussie rock mode and with traces of Reamonn and Kane. The new single "If looks could kill" is one good example of the greatness of this lovely band, the title track "Move like a sinner" should please fans of Tears For Fears and Simple Minds. The term Arena rock isn´t a common genre these days but What Now truly belong on stadiums with songs like "Jackson" and "Lovers and liars", do yourself a favor and get this one on iTunes. Highly recommendable!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Angels of Babylon - Thundergod

Angels of Babylon - Thundergod (2013) Scarlet Records
Produced by Angels of Babylon
Tracks : 1.Thundergod 2.Sondrio 3.Queen warrior 4.What have you become 5.White star line 6.The enemy 7.True brothers 8.Redemption 9.King of all kings 10.Turning to stone 11.Bullet
3,5 out of 5

Angels of Babylon is the brainchild of former Manowar drummer Kenny "Rhino" Earl, the debut album "Kingdom of evil" from 2010 featured Dave Ellefson (Megadeth) on bass and David Fefolt (Fifth Angel) on lead vocals but they´re not around on the sophomore album "Thundergod". Only guitarist Ethan Brosh and Rhino from the first album continue to rock as Angels of Babylon and boy, do they rock! We´re talking epic metal here with razorsharp riffs in the best Judas Priest and Saxon style, just listen to the opening track "Thundergod" that will put a big smile on your face if you´re a metalhead. The following tracks "Sondrio" and "Queen warrior" bring thoughts to Dio and Warrior, they are also two of the highlights on this bombastic album. Other highlights such as "White star line" and "Redemption" are classic metal in the same vein as Sword and TT Quick, play it loud folks because this is real heavy metal thunder.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Omega Reign - Arise

Omega Reign - Arise (2012) Itchy Metal Entertainment
Produced by Omega Reign
Tracks : 1.Will the light come 2.Bitter 3.Doomsday 4.Prison in your eyes 5.Nocturnal 6.The way you lived 7.This poem is goodbye 8.Invisible world, the Eidolon 9.Killer
2,5 out of 5

If you´re a fan of 80´s metal with high pitch vocals, then American metallers Omega Reign´s latest album "Arise" could be something of a treat for you. The album is a bit uneven but there are some really great metal songs such as "Will the light come" and "Prison in your eyes", definitely for fans of Crimson Glory, Q5 and Savatage. "Doomsday" and "Nocturnal" are quite average and forces my finger to push the button to skip for the next track, however I do enjoy the axework from Gene Felix and David Bowman. They are also the team behind the songwriting and really shine in the powerful "Invisible world, the Eidolon". Singer Hank Perry stand in a fine line between being great and sounding strained, but mostly he´s putting on a great vocal performance except for "This poem is goodbye" which don´t suit his voice at all. It would be awesome to hear them doing a Savatage cover, perhaps for the next record then.